Report: Disney to join 20th Century Fox in Apple iTunes movie rentals deal

“Apple is set to break new ground with iTunes, offering movie rentals in a bid to rejuvenate that sluggish part of the otherwise boffo service,” Dade Hayes and Ben Fritz report for Variety.

“Fox and Disney will be announced as partners in a major unveiling by Apple chief Steve Jobs at the annual MacWorld confab on Jan. 14, according to studio sources,” Hayes and Fritz report.

“Apple’s two major studio partners could be joined by other distribs, perhaps Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM, which already make library titles available for purchase on iTunes. Rentals are expected to cost between $2 and $5 for a 24-hour period,” Hayes and Fritz report.

Full article here.

As expected. As we said on Wednesday, “This sounds very promising and bodes well for Apple TV, too. Assume this will include Disney, too.”

The jury’s out on the pricing and terms, however. Other reports have mentioned rental terms of 30 days for US$2.99. As usual, we’ll have to wait for Jobs’ keynote on January 15th for the full story.


  1. If they aren’t encoded in Microsoft’s WMV format and don’t play on a Zune what’s the point? Typical lock-in from the relentlessly evil copycats at Apple. This is what happens when you don’t focus on the customer or user experience and instead greedily follow the mighty dollar. Do you MAC sheep feel taken yet? You should.

    I bet Microsoft will have a digital video rental system that will blow the doors off anything Apple comes up with. Like Vista trounced Leopard. See, Microsoft knows digital content rental systems like no one else. They have years of experience building a magnificent and successful music subscription service so a video-based system is a no brainer. Apple should shut the whole thing down or license WMA & WMV from Microsoft and merge I-Tunes with Zune Marketplace. It’s their only chance for survival.

    Your potential. Our passion.™

  2. The rental period should be AT LEAST seven days, and that’s the minimum. Fifteen to thirty days would be ideal. And the quality should be 720p. (1080p is pointless given today’s download speeds.)

  3. I think rentals should be $1 for my lifetime, Holographic(think Next Gen holo deck) and come with an open bar.
    Anything less is just stupid.

    We are talking about movie studios here-clueless idiots that are just now beginning to get a hint that digital distribution may be important for the future. $2.99 for a week seems to be in line with what movie vendors think is reasonable.

  4. My cable company has pay-per-view movies for $3.99 for 24 hours. So what’s the big deal. If you can’t watch it in 24 hours, don’t download it till you can.

    This is a start. Things can change, so give it a chance.

  5. 720p at 24 fps in h264 would be the bomb. File size using h264 would be ok. Not for light but normal and high speed access. Those using the cheap (slow) light version of cable or dsl internet will have to spend more to get this going.

  6. Knowing Apple, the initial offering may be closer to $5 for 24 h rental, but may eventually be cheaper over time.

    It really depends what they are allowed to offer. Apple would probably prefer cheaper and longer terms to drive take up of their service, but the content holders would probably demand more restrictive ones for fear of hurting DVD and pay-per-view offerings.

    I for one do not buy pay-per-view due to the cost. A longer term is just convenient.

  7. FOX and Disney are not the only ones….

    APPLE will announce more joining the Rental Plans for AppleTV come Jan 14th… you shall not be let down.

    Its gonna be big!

    OH yeah…

    “SWF files, they are vulnerable to attacks in which malicious strings are injected into the legitimate code through a technique known as cross-site scripting, or XSS.”


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